Two banners were simultaneously dropped last night on the campus of UC Berkeley, calling for solidarity and action in support of Eric Clanton. Eric was arrested last week by the Berkeley Police Department, amid liberal and conservative outcries over the rising political violence in the Bay. Eric was allegedly doxxed after the April 15th clash between neo-Nazis and antifascists by the anonymous neckbeards of 4chan. Far-right URL activists soon began calling for his arrest because Alt-Right trolls claimed to be able to identify a masked protester as Eric. And, in a despicable show of support for white nationalists and racist scum, BPD arrested a comrade based only upon posts from 4chan and have charged him with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
The danger that this form of crowdsourcing and online vigilantism is understated, and BPD and Alameda County have disgustingly encouraged it by this arrest. Idiot internet detectives also infamously claimed to have identified Boston Marathon bombing suspects and caused terror for the family and friends of Sunil Tripathi.
We cannot allow online vigilantes to become a legitimized arm of law enforcement anywhere, and especially not in the Bay Area. Eric Clanton is a victim of a new era of kangaroo courts and government repression fueled by Alt-Right trolls. It is time, now more than ever, to dig in our heels and refuse any small appeasement. This is the Brown-shirts in Germany, the Berkut in Ukraine.
Eric Clanton, WHETHER HE WAS EVEN PRESENT AT THE APRIL 15TH PROTEST OR NOT, is not some expendable scrap to be tossed to ravenous dogs calling for leftist blood. We have seen that this contemporary breed of grassroots fascism will do anything and everything they can to tear away at the progressive sanctuary they see in Berkeley and the Bay Area as whole, flying in from all over the country to incite violence and attempt to silence those who oppose them.
Anti-fascist protestors did not allow themselves to be intimidated into submission that day and stood strong alongside comrades of all leftist leanings, no matter how many bats came down on them or knives brandished. And across the country we continue to fight back.
Far-right violence across the country is exponentially increasing and it is becoming deadly to speak out against hate speech. Those that dare to speak out and stand up are heroes and heroines. We must support those who face government repression for saying “no” to hatred and violence. A movement of resistance is only as strong as the support we offer those brave souls arrested, injured and killed in the fight against fascism.
We plead for comrades and allies to do what they can, as often and as many times as they can to fight the fascist creep and show solidarity with Eric Clanton. Drop a banner. Decorate empty walls with messages of love and support. Let the Alt-Right trolls know that in real life there is no safe space for racism and hate speech.